Nursing homes monitor the spread of COVID-19 across Oklahoma

TULSA, Okla. — Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are closely monitoring the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Kimberly Green is the Chief Operating Officer of Diakonos Group. She says it’s not the patients who are contracting the virus but rather the staff members. They are younger and more susceptible of contracting the delta variant.

One of their facilities in the Oklahoma City area has already had to shut down due to staffing shortages and staff members contracting the virus.

The state forced nursing homes and long-term care facilities to go under lockdown last year. Green says as of right now, there are no talks of enacting another lockdown.

Staff members are regularly tested. Some staff members are tested daily.

“Staff members are tested whenever they have any symptoms or if someone else has tested positive. If one staff member tests positive we test everybody in the building immediately,” says Green.

In addition to testing, the healthcare group are also increasing sanitizing stations, and revisiting PPE rules to keep everyone safe.

Families visiting loved ones are also questioned each time before being allowed inside any of the Diakonos Group’s facilities. They too, are asking people to vaccinate because it’s the only measure to ensure everyone is protected and will keep the virus from mutating.

“We know it’s not 100 percent, it’s doing what you can to help protect each other. That’s what we’re asking. There’s always vaccine breakthrough, and we you sneeze you cover your mouth, because this virus is airborne. So you wear a mask, it’s not 100 percent but it’s doing what you can to protect each other.”